IaaS, PaaS or SaaS are cloud service models. How they relate to each other is often depicted as a pyramid with different levels of information control. The top is an end-user who works with a user-friendly interface with personal data “wrapped” in a program or service. Next, the program or service is deployed on a technological platform; this is the second level of the pyramid. Finally, it is based on infrastructure: virtual servers, computing power, storage, and communication channels.
Types of cloud services
There are the following models for receiving services from cloud services.
This cloud model is the most common. Programs and services are developed and maintained by the provider, placed in the cloud, and offered to the end-user through a browser or application on his PC. The client only pays the subscription fee (or uses the service for free), and the provider provides program updates and technical support. SaaS services can provide file storage (Dropbox), office documents (Google Doc, Microsoft Office 365), help organize photos (Flickr), or communicate with other people (Facebook). The main client of SaaS services is a regular user.
Most virtual data rooms work on this protocol. You can use the software to transfer computing operations to external servers. This helps protect your data and save extra money on powerful computing equipment. Many companies engaged in heavy development use this method of calculation.
In this case, the cloud provider provides access to operating systems, development and testing tools, and database management systems. The provider not only controls the servers, storage systems, and computing power but also offers the user a choice of specific platforms and management tools—examples of PaaS: Google App Engine, IBM Bluemix, Microsoft Azure, VMWare Cloud Foundry. Users of PaaS services are software developers.
Under this model, the consumer receives information technology resources – virtual servers with certain computing power and memory. All “iron” is handled by the provider. It installs virtual machine software on it, but does not install or maintain user software. The provider controls only the physical and virtual infrastructure. Examples of IaaS: IBM Softlayer, Hetzner Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, GigaCloud. IaaS clients are company system administrators.
From the end user’s point of view, SaaS is the most understandable and convenient cloud model. It is often easier and more efficient to use a ready-made SaaS service that already meets specific requirements. But ready-made solutions do not always exist; in this case, the PaaS and IaaS models are indispensable.
Most cloud computing service providers can offer options in several types of internal architecture. It is up to you to choose. Rely on your own needs, calculations, and previous experience.
Also, pay attention to the reviews of specific cloud services: choose from your price range the option that best suits the features and has collected good reviews. It would help to read reviews on several sites at once to see an objective assessment from different users. You can also ask partner companies about the best option for your business.